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The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Detoxification for Athletes: The Key to Winning Performance
One of the most dangerous culprits that affects an athlete's ability to perform at an optimum level also happens to be one of the most elusive.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Building the DC-MD Bridge
From MDs practicing integrative holistic medicine to the family internist, many DCs are enjoying unprecedented attention from their allopathic colleagues.
Take Care of Your Skin: Tips to Pass on to Your Patients
Many of our patients are not aware that the largest organ in the human body is actually the skin. Accounting for 16 percent of total body weight and covering up to 22 square feet of surface area, the skin is more than just a "covering," as originally thought.
Your Patients' Best Health Resource
There is nothing as powerful as information. The right information has won wars, saved lives and changed hearts; lack of information has led to hesitation, poor decisions and unintended consequences.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Ringing in a Fiscal New Year With a Recommitment to Cost-Effectiveness
Back when the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research was in its heyday, I used to send out New Year's greetings and virtual noisemakers to some close friends on July 1 – the beginning of our new fiscal year – wishing for prosperity in the year ahead.
News in Brief
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (a medical doctor, no less) proclaimed October 2014 "Oregon Chiropractic Health and Wellness Month" in an official proclamation signed Aug. 25, 2014.
Don't Forget About the Performers
Donald Petersen Jr.'s recent article, "Your Chance to Go Back to High School" [May 1, 2014 DC], focused on the injuries incurred by high-school athletes and the subsequent opportunities for the chiropractic profession.
The Life & Legacy of James Sigafoose, DC (1933-2014)
Surrounded by his family and closest friends, Dr. James M. Sigafoose passed away quietly on Thursday, July 3, 2014. With his wife of 60 years, Patsy, along with his children, Tina, Daun, Kieth, Selina and Carey – all chiropractors – at his side.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
How to Find Your Ideal Patient – and Help Your Ideal Patient Find You
Just imagine: You're at the front desk looking at the scheduler and a smile creeps across your face. Row after row, name after name, hour after hour; you're blessed with an entire day of ideal patients. Every day should be like this, you whisper. Exactly!
Watch Out for Red Herrings
In clinical practice, when one condition mimics another, it makes it difficult to obtain an accurate and timely diagnosis.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Decompression-Traction: A Core Treatment Method in Chiropractic's Future
We're all competing for new patients. We're competing for new patients with physical therapists, massage therapists, medical specialists and hospital fitness centers. We're even competing with side-effect-ridden medications that quit working every four hours.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
November, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 11
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Did you look forward to going to work today? Were you attentive as you made up your table for your first client? Were you genuinely pleased to see that client come through the door? How about at the end of the day - were you just as pleased to see your last client of the day enter your place of business?
My guess is that if you're in your first year of practice, you answered, "yes" to all of these questions.If you're in your fifth year, it is probably less likely that your "yes" was quite as enthusiastic. If you've been practicing 10, 15 or 20 or more years, you might have to pause and think before answering. The premise I am using in all my following observations is that maintaining excitement and freshness in our practice is in our own best interest and the best interest of our clients.
Certainly a number of factors influence your specific responses to these questions. One factor is the body mechanics of the practitioner. I doubt you would look forward to caring for one more client if your own body was in pain from poor body mechanics. Another factor might be client load. More clients per day than your stamina can allow tends to lessen your ability to appropriately focus on additional clients. Likewise, too few clients may mean too much time on your hands, causing boredom.
I'm writing about the topic of excitement because I have observed a subtle change in the massage therapists I have encountered in the past month. The one thing that has changed seems to be the higher stress level of the typical client, the result no doubt of current world situations. In the week following September 11th, I noticed that massage therapists fell into two major groupings. The first had to force themselves to go to work. They preferred to stay in the apparent security of their homes, and they didn't want to see their clients or hear their clients' "petty" complaints of neck/back/shoulder discomfort when people were desperately wandering New York City with pictures of lost family members. The second group couldn't wait to get to work. They looked forward to spending time in an environment where they knew they could effectively participate in something. I'm not making value judgments about either group, as each was just responding to their own coping mechanisms and skills. Certainly if either of the coping methods were to continue, it would be problematic. The first group's practices would quickly dwindle because of lack of interest. The second group's practices also would likely diminish, because the therapeutic relationship would change to benefit the therapist instead of the client. As you know, clients don't like that much!
The higher client stress levels seem to have encouraged the therapists I know to reinvigorate themselves to help others cope. Hopefully this will reignite the fire of excitement these therapists have for their practices.
If the premise is that maintaining excitement and freshness in our practice is in the best interests of both our clients and ourselves, it behooves us to consider more of the things that aid that process. With job excitement, you believe that your work will be satisfying in the long run; you care about the quality of your work; and you are more committed to the therapist/client relationship and the profession as a whole.
An internet web search brings up much (and frequently conflicting) information on job excitement and satisfaction. However, there are many constants in this information that are directly attributable to a career in massage therapy. The "essence" of job satisfaction is to:
I certainly get all of these in my clinical practice! I can't imagine a massage setting that doesn't allow for all three of these items to occur regularly. Job satisfaction is not synonymous with complacency, but with enthusiasm! With enthusiasm, you can tackle each Monday morning with drive and ambition. Enthusiasm also minimizes the negatives that are always present in varying degrees. With enthusiasm, even negatives can be turned into opportunities for satisfaction. As an emotion, negative is stronger than positive: dissatisfaction seems to be more motivating than satisfaction. In our practices, this is manifested by our clients' reacting more visibly and immediately (e.g., booking appointments) to pain and/or dysfunction than to a pleasant stimulus.
Another "truism" of job satisfaction is that most workers like their work more if there is little minute-by-minute supervision of tasks. Massage therapy, in a treatment room environment, provides the practitioner such autonomy.
Our work has frequently been termed "intuitive." To a large extent, I think the better therapists among us have honed their intuitive skills to a high degree. However, I think that much of our job satisfaction is related to education. Education gives us the confidence to proceed to our full capacities, and enables us to expand our abilities. It makes it possible to become even more excited about our work. I don't know about you, but the more I learn, the more intuitive I become!
Some textbook-like issues that are particularly applicable to our profession infer that job excitement benefits from:
Right now, America needs us to be at the top of our game. It needs us to be looking forward to Monday morning. The tensions and stresses inherent in war, threats of war, invisible enemies and the unknown, make our unique skills more important now than they have ever been in the past. The strides that the industry had made in the past decades to educate consumers is now paying off as worried individuals seek out our services and abilities.
I'd love to hear how you keep your excitement level up. Please share your thoughts with others in our "We Get Letters & Email" section. And I hope every one of us can honestly answer "yes" to each of my opening paragraph questions!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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